SUNDAY BALLEW

"There's no more beautiful city in the world, provided it's seen by night and at a distance." - Roman Polanski

I was born in Los Angeles and spent my first three years in the hills of South Pasadena. My family left for Austin, Texas when I was three and since that shift in scenery and culture, I have retained an unshakable inner landscape of the city – the man-made elements and geometries of the city, the natural aspects of its geography, and how all of that together is perceived. 

In 2019 I started to go back to LA to explore this place that seems both distant and familiar to me. A local friend became my passenger-seat guide as we zigzagged the city by car, and in this way I slowly reacquainted myself with it's geography.

Since that trip, I have become obsessed with this draw to the area. I am researching the mediated landscape of the city (watching many Los Angeles, early-seventies era and location specific films, researching the city’s histories, delving into its rich lore and cinematic mythologies), and also scouring era-specific family ephemera, snapshots and histories. 

1969, Echo Park, Los Angeles, January 2020 - Music by Michael Ballew and Red Wilder Blue, Copyright '73

As I have begun to visit locations discovered in this process - gathering audio, video and 35mm film shots – I have started to contextualize stories, reconstruct timelines and also to shake free forgotten memories that, like rediscovered photographs, have surfaced as iconic systems of dreams and memory.

Through all of this, I am noticing many beautiful arcs of personal and collective memory - in and of this city - and how these seemingly disparate lines, moving like waves of sine and cosine, have their moments of connection. 

I am beginning to understand reasons behind certain life trajectories, but also to witness the symbiotic (and influential) relationship of memory and perception, and how this contributes to the dreams, imagination and reality of an individual.

images> Carole Ballew: (L) given to me in 2020 from Jerylie, a family friend / (R) from my mom's photo collection 

The colorful backdrop to this project is a tapestry of stories filled with young artists (my mother was a sculptor/ceramicist and my father a rock musician), their connections, and the Los Angeles creative scene of the late 1960’s and early ‘70’s.

This project is a work in progress. I will update the site as the project evolves.

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